Goblin Slayer Threatened With Ban, Legal Action by Texas Lawmaker

A Texas lawmaker has singled out Goblin Slayer as an "obscene" book.

As reported by the Houston Chronicle, Matt Shaheen, the Republican representative of Texas' 66th district, has singled out writer Kumo Kagyu and illustrator Noboru Kannatsuki's edgy fantasy novels and manga as an example of "obscene" works that should be banned from Texas schools. Shaheen did not specify which schools carried the book, whose English-language manga release features an explicit content warning on its cover, but he used the story as an example of the types of work that he and other Texas lawmakers are trying to ban from schools.  "Specific examples found in public schools that align with the above definition include graphic images of women being raped by demons and little boys performing sexual acts on each other. Anyone who believes this is acceptable is mentally ill," Shaheen said. In addition to a banning libraries from carrying the book, the lawmaker also implied legal action against vendors who carry the series. "We will be going after the vendors that sold this trash to Texas children."

Goblin Slayer is no stranger to controversy. The anime adaptation, which was produced by Re:ZERO animation studio White Fox, was met with sharp criticism upon its premiere in 2018 for its gratuitous depictions of sexual violence. The series' graphic content caused retailer Kinokuniya to pull the manga from its stores in Australia. The anime series was streamed internationally by Crunchyroll, who added a content warning to the series shortly after its premiere. A second season of the show is currently in production.

Shaheen is part of a wider movement of lawmakers across the United States who have sought to ban media that discusses issues related to LGBTQ+ rights, race relations, and other controversial topics. The push has seen graphic novels such as Jerry Craft's Newberry Award-winning New Kid and Art Spiegelman's Pulitzer Prize winning Maus banned from schools in Tennessee's McMinn County. The push in Texas to ban obscene media from schools has mostly been focused around Gender Queer: A Memoir, an autobiographical coming-of-age comic about non-binary author Maia Kobabe's adolescence. Supporters say the bans are necessary to protect children from pornographic and obscene material, while detractors have accused the bans of infringing on free speech rights and for primarily targeting authors and stories from minorities and other marginalized groups.

Kagyu and Kannatsuki's original light novel series and its manga adaptation from author Kosuke Kurose are both available in English from Yen Press.

Source: The Houston Chronicle via Anime News Network

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